WASHINGTON Aug 29 The White House said on
Monday that its midsession review of President Barack Obama's
fiscal 2012 budget proposal would be released later this week,
but an exact date had not yet been set.
The White House had announced in June that it would delay
release of its updated economic and budget projections beyond a
July 16 deadline, in part because U.S. lawmakers took until the
middle of the year to agree a budget for fiscal 2011.
The White House's midsession review includes revised
estimates of the U.S. budget deficit, growth and unemployment.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its
own midsession review on Wednesday, predicting the U.S. deficit
and debt as a share of GDP would fall over the next 10 years,
provided a range of tax breaks were allowed to expire.
It also forecast U.S. unemployment would remain stuck above
8 percent and growth would be tepid through the 2012 elections,
as the country struggles to recover from the deepest recession
since the 1930s. U.S. unemployment was 9.1 percent in July.
The U.S. budget has been a political punch bag all year --
Republicans are determined to cut spending while Obama's
Democrats push to preserve programs for poorer Americans and
urge reforms to increase revenue from taxes.
Congress must take steps before late-December to lower the
U.S. deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years, as part
of a deal earlier this month between Republicans and Democrats
to lift the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid default.
Obama wants lawmakers to go further and seek measures that
lower the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over the long
term, in order to create space in the budget to spend more to
boost growth and hiring in the short term.
(Reporting by Alister Bull; editing by Mohammad Zargham;
email: email@example.com; +1-202-898-8392)